California communities have experienced devastating fire loss because of the severity of fires which occur in places where urban housing has intermixed with wild land areas. The City of El Cerrito contains wildland intermix areas; Property owners within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity (VHFHS) zone must take special precautions with their property, including vegetation management, to reduce the risk of fire.
The three main goals of the El Cerrito Fire Hazard Reduction Program are:
- Keep all fires small. Small fires generally are cooler than large fires and are more easily extinguished.
- Limit the speed with which any fire will grow. Fires need fuel to burn; if fuel is available, fires will continue to grow rapidly. Fuel must be limited or made unavailable to spreading fire.
- Make it more difficult for fires to ignite and spread. Small fires can ignite progressively larger fuels. Small fuels are like kindling and are easily ignited. Reducing kindling fuels, and separating kindling fuels from larger fuels reduces sources for ignition and the potential for fire spread.